Montessori Matters

May 20, 2020


Yes, it was Teacher Appreciation Day/Parade last Friday! And yes, we all felt very appreciated. That sign …. driving in, did it for me. But as we felt the love from our families, I KNOW it was sent right back. WE APPRECIATE YOU ALL SO MUCH.

Having sat in on several virtual class meetings, it struck me how much you have been right there to support not only your own children but us as well. I saw parents darting in to sometimes fix a computer or sit with a “busy” first grader helping him to focus more on the screen. I also saw how many of you allowed your children to just be themselves as they explored this whole new arena of learning. Yes, there were the first few weeks of the younger children just getting used to Zooming – making faces at themselves, showing their teddy bears to the group while the teacher was explaining a worksheet, fixing their hair, lounging in and out of bed …. well, you get the picture. (Wish I had a camera going to catch some of the humor in all of that!). Time did settle that down a great deal.

And then there was the sadness and joy of the older students trying to keep each other’s spirits up during community meetings. The “professionalism” they showed as they presented their 8th grade research projects to their community. TED-talkers in the making.

Now we have some final things to do to wrap up this year: exams, senior project presentations, and of course – all of MSA’s notable Traditions and Rituals that happen at this time. You will be getting information about how we will be proceeding to do most of them “virtually” as is possible. It will not be quite the same but if we can imagine our invisible hands and hearts reaching out, we may come to understand that we are more connected than we realize.

Here’s to the final two weeks, to all we have learned through this experience, to what we will be setting up for next year, in person and virtually. But most importantly …. here’s to this remarkable group of families and faculty. “We celebrate our being here” together – at this particular time and under these particular circumstances - as the community of Montessori School of Anderson.

- Karen Holt

Dates to Remember

Remember that you can always check the MSA website calendar for upcoming calendar events.

May 20-26 - High School final exams

May 21-22 - Senior project presentations

May 25 - Memorial Day - All Programs Closed

May 27 - Lower Elementary Peace Ceremony (rising 4th graders), 10 AM

May 27 - Upper Elementary Star Ceremony (rising 7th graders), 11 AM

May 28 - Virtual Field Day

May 28 - Primary Riser Ceremony (virtual), 6:30 PM

May 28 - Middle School 8th Grade Ceremony (virtual), 7 PM

May 29 - Last day of school

May 29 - Material Pick-up/Drop-off Day (see note below)

May 29 - Yearbook distribution

June 6 - High School Graduation Ceremony

Material Pick-Up/Drop-Off Day

May 29 will serve as our day for students to drop off textbooks and other materials that belong to the school and to retrieve personal items from cubbies/lockers. In an effort to maintain social distancing, we are staggering material pick-up and drop-off times by level. Please see the schedule for each level below:

8:00 - 9:00 AM Infant/Toddler

9:00 - 10:00 AM Primary 1

10:00 - 11:00 AM Primary 3

11:00 - 12:00 PM Primary 2

12:00 - 1:00 PM Lower El

1:00 - 2:00 PM Upper El

2:00 - 3:00 PM Upper School

We realize that some families may have children in multiple levels. Those parents who do may decide which time to stop by and let us know which block they plan to attend so that we can plan accordingly and have their belongings ready.

Yearbook Distribution

One of the two Jostens plants that print all of Jostens' yearbooks in the United States located in California has been closed for the past couple months as a health and safety precaution, causing the Tennessee plant to pick up the printing jobs of the entire country rather than just the half it typically covers and leading to slight delays across the country. The yearbooks have just finished printing and will arrive to us sometime soon. We will distribute yearbooks along with material pick-up/drop-off day on May 29. A limited supply of yearbooks are still available for purchase for $40. You may purchase them as supplies last the day of pick-up/drop-off or reserve one ahead of time by emailing Mrs. Jaime at Payment will be due at the time of pick-up.

Jostens is also working on a method for digital yearbook signing so our students can receive a signed digital memento alongside their physical copies of the yearbook. The digital signing feature should be available soon and we will pass that information along when it's finalized.

On Our Road

Ms. Jenae and the Primary Three students recorded this beautiful homage to Dr. Maria Montessori's teaching philosophy and our school on Sam McGee Road before we began our remote learning experience in March.
On Our Road

Teacher Appreciation Parade

A week has passed, but the good feelings have not faded! Thank you again for the Teacher Appreciation car parade on May 8. I have had several families and teachers say that it did them “a world of good” to just see each other face-to-face even if only from a distance and for a few minutes. That personal connection is so important and the comfort that it can bring… and we can all use a little comfort right now!

- Dana Hill

Please enjoy these photos that Ginny Burt graciously took and provided from the event.

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Magic Camp

Tim Sonefelt & Upstate Magic Academy are offering a FREE online interactive magic workshop for kids (& parents too)! This WOW Workshop is available to our Montessori of Anderson family! Students will learn THREE AMAZING magic tricks they can perform with items you already have around the house. This fully INTERACTIVE workshop is totally free and will take place on your computer, phone or tablet using the popular ZOOM app. (it’s free too!) Parents, we encourage you to watch along with your student to get a feel for how we connect important life-skills with the magic and how our full online camps work. There are two dates for you to take advantage of the FREE Workshop: Wednesday May 20 (TODAY) or Wednesday May 27. Both will start at 2pm. While this is a totally free workshop, registration is required! SPACE IS LIMITED so register right away! You can register directly on Upstate Magic Academy’s website:

Once you register, you’ll receive special email with information about how to get the Zoom app (if you don’t already have it) and get into the meeting (it’s super-easy!), along with a short list of things to gather from around the house. That’s it, and you’ll be all set for the fun and learning! Remember, space is limited and free registration is required. Just visit and scroll down to where you see the WOW Workshop logo! Take a look around the site while you’re there as well!

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Making Face Shields

The Cline family has been hard at work constructing face shields to support our community's medical professionals and front-line workers dealing with the coronavirus. They have put together an instructional guide and associated video detailing how you can create your own face shields to help protect those in our community who need it most. See this link for instructions and view the video below.
3D-Printed Face Shield Assembly Instructions (COVID-19)

German Cultural Exchange

Middle and High School students attended a virtual meeting with Ms. Whitney White, a former 7th-grade teacher in the United States who has traveled extensively abroad over the past several years and who currently resides in Germany. She was able to share her experiences with keeping in touch with family and friends remotely as her, her husband, and her two children have visited more than 25 countries over the past five years and how Germany has dealt with staying at home and remote learning during the pandemic.
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8th Grade Presentations

One of MSA's yearly traditions is that the eighth grade students get valuable research and presentation experience by taking part in a semester-long research project culminating in a series of presentations at the end of the year. This year added an interesting new twist: virtual presentations! The students did a wonderful job rising to the challenge, and the presentations went off without a hitch. The nine presentations covered a wide variety of topics including deforestation, thermo-electric generators, military dogs, Roman military-government relations, dog psychology, the history and cultural significance of jazz dance, dream studies, social media's contribution to teen anxiety, and the growth and impact of modern architecture. Please help us congratulate our eighth graders for completing this monumental milestone!
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Haiku by Mary Hill

Please enjoy these haiku written by ninth-grader Mary Hill:

Quarantine 2020

All staying distant.

Each house replete with chaos,

whilst shelves remain bare.

Outside My Window

The ground appears damp

With water droplets forming.

All creatures arise.

Remote Learning Photos and Video

Thank you to everyone who has sent in photos of our students working at home! See below for pictures and a video of joyful scholars hard at work.
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Learning at Home with Montessori Apps
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Making Dinner

This Middle School student got some practical life practice by making dinner for her family.
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MSA Fort Night

The week before spring break we announced that we were a fortnight from Fort Night as a way to teach students that the word fortnight means a two-week period and as a special community-building event for everyone to participate in from home. We encouraged everyone to build a fort in or around their houses and send in pictures and videos of themselves enjoying their creations. Not only did this provide an excellent engineering and design STEAM opportunity, but it also provided cozy venues for doing classwork the Friday after spring break. Below you may find the announcement video along with some photos and videos of students' creations.

MSA Fort Night
Avery's Fort
Eli's Crib

Paper Airplane Design

Upper Elementary students explored thrust, drag and gravity in an experiment where they folded different paper airplanes, flew them, and compared distances. Another student taught a lesson on drag and how airplanes need drag for takeoff and landing. Click the links below to view some of the paper airplane experiments in action:

Stop-Motion Animation

Upper Elementary students also learned how to create stop-motion videos to show interesting movement through carefully planned and sequenced still frames. One student combined the stop-motion technique with green-screening as well!

Draw on the Wall

Supporting MSA Family Businesses

During this time of social distancing and staying home, we would like to spotlight our MSA Family Businesses:

  • Alchemilla's

  • Arnold's

  • Besto

  • Carolina Bauernhaus Brewery and Winery

  • Carson's Steakhouse

  • Raines on Main

  • Stowaway Storage

  • Tucker's

Please let us know if you own a small business that you would like to include on our MSA Family Businesses list. Email Jaime at

Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.